This blog is my attempt to reconnect with the world of chemistry. I have a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry and make a living doing research for a large company in Michigan. As times have changed, that company has changed its focus and I no longer have as much chance to do the basic, fundamental research which I most enjoy. Through this blog, I am hoping to recapture the magic which I felt during my graduate (and undergraduate) days in college. Expect topics on chemistry and alchemy along with some non-chemistry related items which I think might be interesting.

"The chymists are a strange class of mortals, impelled by an almost insane impulse to seek their pleasure among smoke and vapour, soot and flame, poisons and poverty; yet among all these evils I seem to live so sweetly that may I die if I would change places with the Persian King."

Johann Joachim Becher (phlogistonist)
Acta Laboratorii Chymica Monacensis, seu Physica Subterranea, (1669).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Arsenic (Again) and Drugs

Following up on last week's post concerning the relationship between elevated levels of arsenic in drinking water and a diminished immune response to certain types of influenza (swine flu?), I ran across the following article describing the use of nanorust (actually tiny particles of iron oxide coated on sand) to provide a possible low cost means of removing arsenic from water. You can’t get much more inorganic than this.


In a previous post, I discussed my general reluctance for taking drugs, somewhat skeptical that it might be possible to develop a drug which didn’t cause some problem somewhere else in the body. Now, Derek Lowe has written a column describing how much we don’t know about drugs and their mechanisms inside the body. He even says:” I try not to take any medication unless I feel it's absolutely needed, and I'm often not very happy about taking it even then.” A man after my own heart! I just might finally consider throwing out all that aspirin I’ve been suspicious of for a while now.